August 13, 2012
The ethical treatment of prisoner in the United Sates have been a hot topic for many years, and it wouldn’t be surprised to hear every few months about another case taken on by a civil right group to help receive justice for those prisoners who have fallen in between the strict guides set by the department of corrections in the United States. Over the last few decades, the rights and treatment of prisoners has changed to become more realistic. Twenty years ago protections of inmates, or cases brought up by inmates of things that have happened in prisons we over looked and not take seriously. Due to the changes in human rights standards we have reformed the way we handle the inmates who come thru the system, and one day if not receiving a life sentence or the death penalty will later become a functioning member of society. However to this day we still hear about cases being brought in to the public eye regarding ethical issues within the corrections system, Heath care and sexual misconduct.
Medical care for inmates, have greatly improved over the last two decades. In 2009, the United Nations office on drugs and crime (UNODC) issued a handbook which is given to inmates at the time of incarceration insuring the rights and producers as far as medical care and treatment for inmates with special needs, ranging from chronic illness to terminal issues. The hand book published a section for each of the main medical issues, which and been ethical hot topics for many years.(Ababa 2009) Each state however has their own standards in place, no one would deny that some states and local governments are still falling to substandard polices when regarding medical treatment. At the time of imprisonment every inmate is stopped all medication until a proper heath screen is performed by medical staff of the facility, and is issued as status and a full physical report in requests are sent to maintain their treatment program.
However one of the largest over looked issues is regards that of drug abuse. Many inmates who suffer from withdrawal systems are not properly monitored in which side effects have led to other health related issues and in some cases death.(Carmichael 2010) Over the last few year have prison systems began warming up to the idea of treatment programs for drug addiction. From a study done by the human rights watch showed that the extra few dollars a year spent on per inmate basis for a drug rehab program, could save them money in the long run due to the fact that there is currently not a standard drug treatment program most of them are repeat offenders which in turn would cost tax dollar an extra forty thousand dollars per year, per inmate. The American Bar Standard states that: “correctional authorities could ensure that: a qualified heath care professional is designated the responsible health authority for each facility, to oversee and direct the provision of health care in that facility… Prisoners should be provided timely access to appropriately trained and licensed health care staff in a safe and sanitary setting designed and equipped for diagnosis or treatment. ( ABA 2010) There are two current cases of inmates for lack of medical care, one of them being the case of Garcia vs. New Mexico. Where he was held in isolation and denied access to medication which leads to his death in 2011. (Abbott 2012)Along with drugs and alcohol many prisoners suffer from range of mental illnesses as well. Alot of them go untreated. At intake of he prisoners, they’re taken off all of their medications and waited to be screened from a doctor at the prison they are assigned. One case reported by the aclu states that: “The ACLU is seeking to expand the case of Hadix v. Caruso against several prisons in Jackson, Michigan to include mental health care. Recently a court-appointed monitor of medical services in the prison system, Robert Cohen, M.D., reported his findings in the